Tag Archives | Bad Habits

Handstand Tutorial

Here is a basic handstand tutorial. This will cover first practicing against a wall. If you are trying to go out into the open check out this article on how to do a hand stand.

Holding a handstand is not an easy skill. It requires much practice especially if you want to do it out in the open. The tips in the article will help you get started. Before we begin just know that practice is the biggest determinant of whether you’ll be successful or not with the handstand. The more you can practice the faster you’ll get results.

What you learn here will go a long way to helping you out. Also, these tips will ensure you get started with good habits which will set you up to learn even more advanced stunts later on. If you attempt the handstand without any instruction you may setup yourself for failure. Sure, you may figure out how to do the handstand but you may build bad habits which will make other hand balancing skills harder to do in the future.

The easiest way to learn the handstand is to first practice it against a wall. You’ll be able to learn proper body position first.

The first step is to kick-up into the handstand. In order to become successful you’ll need to build a good kick-up. So practice this skill by itself as much a you need to.

Kick-up to Handstand

Kick-up to Handstand

Get in a sprinter’s stance. Place both hands on the floor about shoulder width apart approximately 6-10 inches from the wall. One foot should be close to your body while the other is farther back. With the back leg you kick up and then bring the other leg to meet up with it against the wall. Kick enough to get yourself up into the handstand but not too much so that you slam into the wall.

How to do the One Hand Handstand by Professor Orlick
ow to do the One Hand Handstand on Amazon

Now lets focus on your form in the handstand. Spread the fingers wide apart and grip the ground. This will help especially with balancing later on.

Make sure your elbow are locked. If you bend your arms you’ll have to rely on your strength versus your body’s structure to hold you up. Also push your arms into the ground from the shoulder girdle. Think of trying to reach your shoulders to your ears. This will give you a better locked out position.

The rest of your body should remain tight as well from your back to the legs all the way to your toes. Point the toes and keep the legs together to help with this. By keeping tight you make holding the position, and balancing later on, much easier.

For most people some arch in the back is normal. There are different ways to go about it depending on the style of handstand you are going after. Just do whatever is comfortable for you as long as its not an excessive arch. But if you try to stretch your body upwards you’ll straighten a bit and get tighter.

You can keep your head neutral or tilt it back to look at the ground.

Handstand against Wall

Handstand against Wall

All the points for a good and stable handstand position are here. The goal is to create this same position every time you do a handstand whether against the wall or freestanding. Practice these steps enough until they are a habit every time you go into the handstand.

After you can hold this handstand for about a minute you can get started with a freestanding handstand, although there are a few other important lead-up stunts, like the headstand and frogstand, to work on to build up your abilities.

Remember to keep practicing and you will succeed.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

P.S. For more on how to do the handstand check out the Secrets of the Handstand Quick Start DVD.

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Correcting Bad Handstand Habits

First off thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out the short survey. I appreciate you spending your time to help me out even it its just a couple minutes. I’ll be sharing what everyone said a little later on but today I thought I’d tackle a couple questions.

But before that a few other updates. That last blog post on the planche brought a couple great comments. I’ll delve further into that subject soon (with a few more pictures). In fact, there’s been a few comments on several different blog posts which I’m pleased with. Keep the conversation going.

Hand Balancing Made EasyHandBalancingMadeEasy_on_Amazon

And recently, I was notified that the company that makes the Elite Rings and Ring Strength DVD has switched over to fre e shipping within the USA. And I’m passing that offer on to you.

So if you are in the US you can get these products even cheaper now!

Now onto the questions. It’s a long one but worth reading.

“I’ve been practicing (more or less playing with) handstands and handbalancing for about a year.  I taught myself 100% and so I’ve adopted ALOT of bad habits. I can walk yards forward or backwards on my hands, I’ve held a handstand for 42 seconds once, and I’ve even been expirimenting with walking up and down stairs with some mild success.

“Unfortunately, despite the impressive feets that I can achieve I get criticized frequently on my form.  My back has a huge arch and I let my legs dangle over my head.  It works for me, but just doesn’t have that impressive look to it.  I’m sure it’s not hard to teach someone to keep their legs together and toes pointed, but after a year of success it’s a little bit harder to break the habit. Plus I get frustrated easier because I think ”I can just do it better my way anyway.”  So as you may have already guessed, because I usually let my legs dangle, when I try to pick them up I underbalance.  It’s like trying to learn it all over again and It’s quite frustrating. If you have any tips on gradually recovering from this habit as opposed to just relearning it I would appreciate your advice. And is it suppose to be harder or easier with you legs together?

“A second question I have is a specific skill question.  I can walk in a circle on my hands, but I can’t stay in one place and pivot around.  It would be a cool tutorial for you to make if you can teach how to pivot on your hands. Or if you could just point me in the right direction that would be cool too.”

Thank you for your time,
Josh Reed

Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed question. Much easier to answer this when there’s lots to draw from.

About the form and how to correct it. First let me start by saying why some people go towards the feet hanging form. Because of the bend at the knees the lower legs are hanging down and this effectively lowers your center of gravity. Also like you mentioned it throws your weight a bit more forward toward an overbalance.

If its easier why is it not generally recommended? The key word is the legs were ‘dangling’ over the head. In this position it is harder to keep the legs under control, and without control hand balancing becomes much harder. You want the legs together and straight so that they act like one object, which is easy to control.

It may be a bit harder in the beginning but in the long run it’ll make more advanced stunts (and doing simpler ones for longer) that much easier.

This is a case of taking two steps back so you can move three steps forward. Yes, you’ll have to go back to re-learn the move in a sense. Going back to the wall will help.

But the best thing I think would be to learn how to move from one position to the other. Learn to stay in a stationary handstand. Raise and bring the feet together from your hanging, knees bent position, then go back and forth. Raising and lowering them under control.

Your handstand position isn’t wrong (even if others say its ugly). You should be able to assume any position you want. Learn to control your legs and make them do what they want.

Which brings me to the next question regarding doing pirouettes. Turning around in one spot is much harder than just walking forwards.

I’ll likely do a longer tutorial later on but for now just a couple tips. Start off with small steps and gradually reduce the number you use over time. Eventually it should only take two steps to turn around, but start with up to six if you need to.

Also pay attention to the feet. Its common just to focus on the hands as you do the move but giving mind to the furthest point from your balance will help you even more to stay up. And this goes for all walking and even standing still.

“I have subscribed to your Updater and it seems like Every time I learn of something new from a friend or somewhere on the internet I come to my e-mail to find you have already e-mailed me with a new set of tips or instructions JUST ON THE VERY THING! This is far from a question but I wanted to let you know you personally inspired me to continue my journey to become stronger and more powerful then I ever thought possible.”

Balancing diligently
~Matt

Thanks a lot Matt. I am happy to inspire and teach. And that’s going to wrap it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Underwater Handstand

Is doing an underwater handstand a good idea? Read below for that and other questions from readers like you. Remember that if you want your questions answered just email them to me. I can’t personally reply to all of them but I will post them for all to see.

Here’s the first one:

Thank you so much for the good tips. I am just a beginner of the hand stand on land. I already know how to do headstand (“King of Yoga” ). I also do good hand stand and hand walk underwater in the swimming pool at my local LA Fitness. In fact I handwalked the entire length of the pool in one breath few days ago. But I find it much more difficult to do hand stand on land. Shall I keep practicing underwater hand stand and hand walk while trying to learn hand stand on land? Will I pick up “bad habits” while doing the underwater hand balancing?
Best regards, Brian Ko

Now I have never heard this one before. Not having practiced in the water it is hard to say for sure but here are my feelings.

Water is going to give you some resistance for you to push off of. This is why it is easier. When you balance on land you cannot push off the air in this manner. I imagine that you will be balancing with your body rather than your hands for the most part. If you want to be able to do a handstand on land then you should be practicing that.

The other thing is holding the breath. Obviously this must be done if you are underwater, and unless you have great lungs you won’t be able to balance for a long time. However, in hand balancing you do not want to hold your breath. A big key, and also something hard to learn, is to be able to breathe normally when you practice.

My advice is to stick to the land. It is harder but you will get the hang of it. There may be some benefit from practicing underwater but I the time would be better spent on solid ground.

And from our friend Seth:

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing on Amazon

Hello, I was wondering where is the best place to look while you are in a handstand, I find myself always looking at the ground, but recently I started trying to look forward and keeping neck straight. Which way is correct? Thank you for all your help it is very much appreciated.

Both are correct depending on what you are going for. Most of the time I look at the ground. I find this position easier. Remember that the back tends to follow the head, so if you are looking at your hands then you will naturally arch.

Now if you look forward then your back will straighten out and this will give you the straight handstand look and feel. Once you get use to this position it can be just as easy as the other one.

It all depends on what you are going for but both are correct for hand balancing.

That wraps it up for today.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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